It’s hard to believe we’re already even mentioning the phrase “Back to School”, but for those of us here in Middle Tennessee, our kids actually go back next week.
In the flash of an eye, I’m forced to re-examine all the plans and poignant moments I had planned for the summer and face the reality that in just a few short days we’ll be back in the rush of our school-day routine.
Did we spend enough time playing?
Did I sit with her shoulder to shoulder enough instead of talking at her?
Do I know her better today than I did two months ago?
Unfortunately, there is no grace for the past, but God is very present in the current moment, so instead of wondering “What if?”, I’m choosing to stop today and talk to my daughter about the things I want to make sure she knows before she heads back to class.
Obviously, these can change depending on the age of your daughter, but the basic principles remain the same and can be adapted based on whichever stage of life she’s in.
5 Conversations to Have With Your Daughter Before She Heads Back to School
Your body is exactly that, YOUR body.
It’s one thing to teach your daughter about her body; it’s quite another to instill the truth within her that no-one else has the right to touch her body, literally or emotionally. While girls can body shame, boys can make a girl feel that her body is the only thing she has to offer in a relationship. Before you send your daughter back to school this year, spend time working through different scenarios and rehearsing possible responses with her.
Prayer is always an available lifeline.
We’ve had a lot of discussions about whether or not she’s ready for a cell phone and most of her persuasive arguments circle back to the fact that she’d feel safer with a cell phone. While I could argue that having a cell phone actually opens her up to predators and other unsafe situations, I understand her point. That being said, cell phone or no cell phone, she always has an open line to God through prayer. The younger my daughter grasps this important truth, the more secure she’ll be in ANY situation.
What you see online is not always an accurate depiction of life.
I’ve often heard social media described as a highlight reel of your best moments, achievements and pictures of yourself. The problem is that teens using cell phones for the first time don’t always recognize that truth. Instead, they spend hours taking over 100 pictures at a time trying to find the ideal selfie. Not only is it important to educate your daughter in social media, but it’s equally important to put safeguards on any electronic devices, including phones, computers, and tablets.
Stay true to yourself.
In her book, Liked, Kari Kampakis strongly suggests girls don’t post their “deepest darkest secrets on social media in the name of being ‘real'”. She goes on to say, “The fact is, some details and life moments should remain private” or reserved for a close circle of people you fully trust. One of my favorite truths she shares is this:
Eventually you may be ready to share the story of your adolescent years. But right now, your story is unfolding. It’s still taking shape as you discover who you are both individually and as part of a bigger community.
Remember whose you are.
Kari also reminds us in Liked that “the secret to having a meaningful life is fixing your eyes on eternity”. Equip your daughter to be in a place to not only make a decision for Christ (if she hasn’t already), but to intentionally seek to become more like Christ. Remind your daughter that no matter what, she will always be a child of God and that is the one thing that will never change, no matter what life tries to throw her way. Junior high and high school (especially) can be incredibly trying in the life of a young woman, but don’t focus on the negative; instead, speak the truth of God over her and encourage her to be a world changer in her everyday life!
While there are many other conversations worthy of having with your daughter, these 5 conversations are a great place to start. If you’d like even more help for talking to the young women in your life, make sure to pick up a copy of Liked. With positive and powerful insights, Kari encourages girls to apply God’s timeless truths in this digital age, digging deeply into topics like social media, friendship, identity and faith.
What are some conversations you’ve had with your daughter around these areas? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!